Delivery Truck Accident Attorneys in Santa Barbara
With online shopping gaining in popularity in America, delivery trucks on the roadways are steadily climbing in numbers. The convenience of having products delivered to our doors has a downside: an increased risk of being injured in an accident caused by a delivery driver. With multiple potentially liable parties, recovering compensation after a delivery truck accident can be a complicated legal process.
At NordstrandBlack PC, we know just how devastating an accident with a delivery van or truck can be. If you have been injured by a negligent delivery driver, you are probably feeling angry, stressed, and even hopeless about your future. You should never assume that you don’t have any options, however. With a skilled attorney by your side, you can recover all the damages you suffered, and then some. That is where NordstrandBlack PC comes in. Call us at (805) 962-2022 and find out how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Delivery drivers are in high demand. Amazon delivered an estimated five billion packages in a recent year, and FedEx and UPS aren’t far behind. That number is estimated to continue to rise over the next several years, as more and more Americans become accustomed to the level of convenience that two-day shipping allows. That means there are millions upon millions of packages being delivered every day, and deliver companies need enough drivers to match that non-stop movement.
However, that also means that these delivery companies may rush the driver training process or rely too heavily on their existing drivers. Drivers who are overworked, fatigued, improperly trained, and under pressure to meet delivery deadlines may violate traffic regulations, putting other motorists and their passengers at risk. The truth is the more America relies on this new way to get the latest gadget or designer bag, the more at risk they are.
Because drivers are in such high demand, the delivery companies they work for have a tendency to put an extreme amount of pressure on them. There is nothing more important to a delivery company that making sure their packages are dropped off on time. That is how they keep customers, after all. Amazon is one of the worst offenders in this. They expect their drivers to deliver 999 out of 1000 packages on time, no matter the circumstances, according to a report by the New York Times.
That is an intense level of pressure to place on your driver, especially in cities like Santa Barbara, where traffic is simply a fact of life. One small jam could easily result in a delivery driver being written up, or even let go. That level of anxiety over potentially losing their livelihood, puts drivers in a position where they may feel their only option is to act negligently. Drivers in a rush to make their deliveries may fail to comply with traffic regulations. Delivery vehicle drivers may cause auto accidents by:
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Making unsafe lane changes
- Performing sudden left turns
- Stopping suddenly without warning
- Violating the right-of-way of other drivers
- Backing up with other vehicles, pedestrians, or bicyclists in their blind spots
- Failing to set the parking brake
- Hauling improperly secured loads
Of course, that pressure is no excuse for causing an accident, and a driver acting in negligence in order to save their job is still putting the lives of others at risk. However, holding a deliver driver accountable may not involve filing a claim against the driver themselves, but instead the company they work for. Afterall, companies play a major role in how their employees behave, and should be held liable if they create a culture that leads to injury.
While filing a claim against the company that the delivery driver works for is your best chance of recovering proper damage, there may be some unforeseen snares that get in the way. For example, not all delivery drivers are actually employees of the company they deliver for. It may be difficult to sue a delivery company that has contractors instead of employees. Under California law, employers are generally liable for negligent or wrongful acts of their employees if those acts are committed within the scope of employment, but the same cannot be said for contract workers. Amazon, for example, contracts with smaller deliver companies, and the drivers they use are not actually Amazon employees. That protects Amazon from having to face liability for any accidents.
Delivery companies have insurance policies with larger limits than the personal policies of their drivers, making it more likely that you will be fully compensated for your losses we can prove with the company, rather than if the driver is liable. However, even if the delivery driver who caused your accident is an employee of a delivery company, the company is only liable if the accident occurred while the driver was engaged in the performance of job duties. When a delivery driver is not working, the driver’s personal auto insurance policy should cover liability for bodily injury and property damage caused by the driver. This can occur when a driver is not clocked in, is logged off the delivery company app, or is taking a break to run a personal errand. Most personal auto insurance companies exclude delivery driving and other commercial activities from coverage.
Insurance and delivery companies are in business for profit and care far more about their bottom line than about your well-being. That means when it comes to personal injury claims, they are focused on minimizing their payouts. An insurer may find reasons to dispute coverage for a crash caused by a delivery vehicle, or simply act in bad faith and deny your claim altogether. Your best chance of recovering full compensation is to have a Santa Barbara truck accident lawyer by your side. If you have been injured in a delivery truck accident, contact NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022. We want to help you.